Wetlands mitigation to cost Re-2 extra
Re-2 will pay an extra $100,000 for unexpected wetlands mitigation in the Coal Ridge High School construction, but because of padding in the budget the project won’t go over cost.The district wanted to widen Highway 6 in front of the Coal Ridge site last fall but delayed that when a consultant determined the cattails in the ditch along the highway are jurisdictional wetlands, according to Mark DeWolf, owner of Facility Innovation Services and consultant for the Coal Ridge construction. “Either you have a ditch full of weeds, or you have wetlands,” DeWolf said. “We have wetlands.”He said widening the highway had to be postponed until the district could get a permit to remove the wetlands. The delay led to construction difficulties, DeWolf said.”We had to relocate dirt that was going out on that highway,” DeWolf said. Relocating the dirt cost $60,000.Now the district faces an additional expense of $40,000 in planning and landscaping for the vegetation.”As it’s over an acre of wetlands,” DeWolf said, “we have to mitigate those, meaning we have to relocate them somewhere on the school property.”While eliminating the wetlands around the highway will cost the district $100,000, it has not added to the expense of the construction, DeWolf said.The budget for construction is $18 million, including contingency funds. About 5 percent of the overall budget is set aside for unexpected expenses. DeWolf said that padding is typically used to mitigate the expense of errors and omissions in the architectural plan.”We’re fortunate enough that these architectural plans are complete and there isn’t a lot of extra expense there,” DeWolf said.However, DeWolf said the district is free to use any leftover contingency money for school enhancements. And this wetlands mitigation will really chew into Re-2’s leftovers.”If we didn’t have to do that wetlands we would have built a baseball field or something,” DeWolf said. “That can’t happen now.”
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There are a few extra stories being shared around the tables at the Village Smithy restaurant in Carbondale this week following the death of restaurant founder and longtime community leader Chris Chacos.